Posts Tagged ‘blue post’

Blizzard Unveils New World of Warcraft Community Site

Blizzard unveiled the new World of Warcraft Community Site yesterday, which completely revamps the interface, updates the look specifically for Cataclysm, and among other things completely revamps the forums and the software that back-ends them.

The new community site looks cleaner and is definitely more up to date and interactive, includes more features and links to featured news, is easier to link to, and all in all performs much better than the old site. The site has a blog embedded on the front page with links to news that you can get from the front page and link around the Web more easily.

Perhaps most notably though are the changes to the forums. Take a look here:

The new forum layout is definitely different, but it’s much more well spaced and has a number of hover-over features that allow you to see recent posts in a specific thread and visual cues to let you know if the thread is active or has been posted in recently.

All of these new previews herald the eventual lock and removal of the old forums and the decommissioning of the old community site. Don’t worry, change may be difficult, but I don’t think you’ll miss the old site very much when you see the new one.

Blizzard Adds “Red-Shirted Fact Checker” to Cataclysm Beta!

Remember this guy? Well, thanks to a post over at GeekGirlDiva we learned that Blizzard meant it when they said they would fix that little problem – and then some.

Looks like he’s new in the beta, but the “Red-Shirted Fact Checker” is now standing right next to Falsted Wildhammer, who’s now in Ironforge. Looks like the screenshot above was taken from the horde perspective…I wonder what he says when you click on him if you’re alliance.

Deathwing is Coming

A pretty epic post over at the official forums is reminding us that Deathwing isn’t planning to make his re-emergence into Azeroth a one-time, forget-about-it deal. He’s serious about this whole “destruction far and wide” thing. Quoth the Zarhym:

One of Azeroth’s oldest adversaries will soon tear through the Elemental Plane to reforge the world in flame, but this foe won’t be conducting his reign of terror from the confines of a castle or lair. Deathwing is a destructive force the likes of which adventurers have yet to see in World of Warcraft, and his appetite for devastation can only be satisfied by the shattering of the world. Following his explosive escape from Deepholm, Deathwing will cast a deadly shadow over the people of Azeroth as he wreaks indiscriminate havoc across the land.

Once free to terrorize the world, Deathwing will randomly choose territories in Azeroth to attack each day until his ruinous reign is brought to an end. A blackened sky will be the only warning before every living creature caught in his approach is consumed by his terrible fire. The unfortunate victims of his malice will receive a rare Feat of Strength… as well as a repair bill and corpse run.

When Deathwing returns, you’d best keep your eyes on the skies.

Apparently Deathwing isn’t messing around, and some of the video footage out there already proves the point – if you’re in the path of fire when he comes by torching your zone, you can kiss your ass goodbye. But hey – you get an achievement!

Blizzard Announces Real-ID Privacy Changes

Blizzard came out with some new changes to the way your privacy will be handled in the Real-ID system today, most notably the ability to opt-out of the “Friends of Friends” feature that everyone found so controversial from the get-go. This means that friends of people you’ve listed as friends on Battle.net won’t be able to automatically see you and add you as friends anymore.

Also in the announcement? That long-predicted integration with Facebook that people have grumbled about and snarked about for a while – but it’s not like game data goes to Facebook, you just have the opportunity to import your Facebook friends into Battle.net if they’ve provided their information. Here’s the whole announcement Nethaera posted to the official forums:

We’d like to make you aware of the new Real ID-related privacy options we’ve introduced to Battle.net. These options provide Real ID users with additional tools for customizing the service based on their preferences, enabling the ability to opt in or out of the Real ID “Friends of Friends” and “Add Facebook Friends” features or to turn off Real ID altogether.

Real ID offers an optional, convenient way for keeping in touch with real-world friends you know and trust, whether they’re playing World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, or one of our future games. The “Friends of Friends” and “Add Facebook Friends” features provide you with even more options to stay connected while you play by making it easier for real-life friends to locate each other on Battle.net. You can easily enable or disable these features through your Battle.net privacy settings by logging in to your Battle.net account at http://www.battle.net/.

That will likely quell some of the complaints about Real ID intruding so much on your privacy and security…and then open up others with that Facebook integration.

Heroic Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep Will Be Ready for Cataclysm

Back when Blizzard hosted the Cataclysm Press Tour, one of the unfortunate things we saw mentioned was the possibility that heroic versions of The Deadmines and Shadowfang Keep might not be ready in time for the launch of Cataclysm, and that they may have to wait for a future content patch update to give the team more time to work on them.

Well, word came down yesterday that those fears were nothing to worry about, because the two new dungeons will indeed be ready in time for the launch of Cataclysm, and players will be able to head in and see their favorite starting-game dungeons re-worked for the new world that we’ll get when the expansion comes out. Here’s the official word from Valnoth, when someone else in a thread stated that they wouldn’t be ready as fact and the reason why they weren’t available in beta:

Heroics are not ready for testing.

Heroic Shadowfang Keep and Heroic Deadmines WILL be released with Cataclysm. You will not have to wait for a later patch.

Strap on your pirate stompers kids, it’s back to Westfall for the Alliance and back to Silverpine Forest for the Horde!

New Character Intros for All Races in Cataclysm

Warning! Here there be spoilers for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm!
Do not read on if you don’t want to be utterly spoiled as to the fate of your character’s races when the expansion hits!

Now then, with that out of the way, I have to hand it to the folks at WoW.com for uncovering this from the most recent update to the beta (which none of us here at the Azeroth Metblogs are in yet, sadly) – each of the character races will get new introductions in the expansion, and if you’re still thinking it’s not a big deal, you’re missing the fact that a lot of the “where we are now” lore for each of the races is explained in those few opening moments before you take the reins of your character and begin playing.

Head over to WoW.com to read the full transcripts, direct from Blizzard.

The Epitome of Epic-Ness

Yes folks, that’s a freakin’ undead riding a freakin’ raptor riding a freakin’ rocket shark with freakin’ lasers. Click the image above to embiggen and get yourself a new wallpaper.

I’m done – that’s the most epic thing I think I can possibly see.

And it all came out of a forum thread where some random person started whining about the Maelstrom not being “epic” enough for them in the Cataclysm beta. The poster complained:

What I meant was, I thought Deathwing was supposed to have bursted through the crust on Eastern Kingdoms. Then it turns out he came out through the Maelstrom?
I would expect the Maelstrom to be a far more epic place than it is currently, at the very least significantly larger than what it is. I mean–you have to consider it’s large enough to score its own spot on every map of Azeroth….
Not to mention…flying into the Maelstrom…really?…..I mean…….
*facepalm*..

He actually managed to get a blue post about this from Valnoth, a Lead World Designer at Blizzard working on the changes coming to Azeroth, who said this:

Maybe I missed the memo on levels of “epicosity” or something, but I’m pretty sure the Maelstrom is a CLASS 10 epic zone. Though I guess it is missing sharks with laser beams patrolling the waters and Arthur Fonzarelli jumping across it with water skis. And dinosaurs.

What’s beautiful about this is that he could have just left it there. But no, oh no – he didn’t. He decided to take it up a notch, and came back later with this gem:

After reading this post I called for a meeting with TOP TOP MEN (that’s two tops) in order to figure out a solution to the problem at hand. Frankly, I think we hit a home run. The next 4.0 build (or the one after) should have a Maelstrom that’s between 10 – 50x more epic than what currently exists.

Buckle yourselves into your computer chairs or face being blown away!

That’s right – the result is what you have above. The collaboration between these fine developers and designers, some TOP TOP MEN (damn right) who truly know what is and is not epic. And that, my friends, is epic.

Thanks to the World of Warcraft Livejournal Community for the scoop! ….and the new wallpaper.

Have an Authenticator? You’ll Need it for the Forums

If you have an authenticator (and if you don’t, you should probably get one! Here’s what they’re all about.) you’ll get a special treat in the coming days, as Blizzard changes the forums to require that, for players that already have authenticators only, that they periodically authenticate using their authenticator to the forums in order to post.

Essentially, all this means is that if you already have an authenticator, that level of account security will extend to your activity on the forums the same way it does to the community site and your Battle.net account.

The change is something of a non-issue and I would leave it there if there weren’t some needless confusion about the topic of authenticators and the forums. For example, over at the World of Warcraft livejournal community, one frequent poster took this to mean that if you don’t have an authenticator you can’t use the forums, which is absolutely false. (That same poster seems to have a resistance to authenticators in general, whose concerns I addressed in a column last year called Why the Resistance to Authenticators?)

So before everyone goes off terrified of authenticators and complaining that Blizzard is moving to a model where authenticators are essentially required to play the game (which frankly, I think they should considering the number of people who play and the economy around hacked characters, gold farming, and account sales – the problem is that if an authenticator is essentially required for Battle.net games, they should give them away to anyone who wants one free of charge…they’re already close by making the apps available for the iPhone and Android for free) keep in mind that this is a change that applies only to people who have an authenticator, and means nothing will change to the people who don’t have one.

And if you don’t have one, seriously, you should get one.

Blizzard Reverses Course, Real Names to Not Be Required on Official Forums

Blizzard made an announcement this morning I thought they wouldn’t make. Here’s the meat from Nethera’s post on the official forums about it, where she’s reposting a message from Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime:

Hello everyone,

I’d like to take some time to speak with all of you regarding our desire to make the Blizzard forums a better place for players to discuss our games. We’ve been constantly monitoring the feedback you’ve given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums. As a result of those discussions, we’ve decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums.

It’s important to note that we still remain committed to improving our forums. Our efforts are driven 100% by the desire to find ways to make our community areas more welcoming for players and encourage more constructive conversations about our games. We will still move forward with new forum features such as the ability to rate posts up or down, post highlighting based on rating, improved search functionality, and more. However, when we launch the new StarCraft II forums that include these new features, you will be posting by your StarCraft II Battle.net character name + character code, not your real name. The upgraded World of Warcraft forums with these new features will launch close to the release of Cataclysm, and also will not require your real name.

I want to make sure it’s clear that our plans for the forums are completely separate from our plans for the optional in-game Real ID system now live with World of Warcraft and launching soon with StarCraft II. We believe that the powerful communications functionality enabled by Real ID, such as cross-game and cross-realm chat, make Battle.net a great place for players to stay connected to real-life friends and family while playing Blizzard games. And of course, you’ll still be able to keep your relationships at the anonymous, character level if you so choose when you communicate with other players in game. Over time, we will continue to evolve Real ID on Battle.net to add new and exciting functionality within our games for players who decide to use the feature.

In closing, I want to point out that our connection with our community has always been and will always be extremely important to us. We strongly believe that Every Voice Matters, ( http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/about/mission.html ) and we feel fortunate to have a community that cares so passionately about our games. We will always appreciate the feedback and support of our players, which has been a key to Blizzard’s success from the beginning.

Mike Morhaime
CEO & Cofounder
Blizzard Entertainment

I didn’t think Blizzard was going to retract the policy this way, but clearly the demand got to them and they decided that this was a bad idea.

So, now let’s see if the people who threatened to or went ahead and canceled their subscriptions return to the game, or if the spectre of Real ID in other forms and implementations is enough to keep people away from the game for privacy concerns. What do you think about the reversal? Sound off in the comments!

Changes to Talents and Class Mastery Coming in Cataclysm

Below the radar, since all of the discussion these past few days has been around the Real ID fiasco and topics related to it, Blizzard announced some significant changes to the way talents will be handled when Cataclysm comes out.

First of all, you’ll pick a single tree and focus on it from the get-go, instead of the confusion that came from hitting level 10 and having three trees wide open for you to play with (that all eventually boiled down to having one single tree and type of spec to focus on when you were max level) and class mastery will come from a combination of your chosen talents and items that will start appearing in the world as drops when you hit level 78.

Here’s the highlight from Zarhym’s post on the forums about the changes:

When players reach level 10, they are presented with basic information on the three specializations within their class and are asked to choose one. Then they spend their talent point. The other trees darken and are unavailable until 31 points are spent in the chosen tree. The character is awarded an active ability, and one or more passive bonuses unique to the tree they’ve chosen. As they gain levels, they’ll alternate between receiving a talent point and gaining new skills. They’ll have a 31-point tree to work down, with each talent being more integral and exciting than they have been in the past. Once they spend their 31’st point in the final talent (at level 70), the other trees open up and become available to allocate points into from then on. As characters move into the level 78+ areas in Cataclysm, they’ll begin seeing items with a new stat, Mastery. Once they learn the Mastery skill from their class trainer they’ll receive bonuses from the stat based on the tree they’ve specialized in.

This effectively means that everything you know about talents has and will change. First, you choose a tree at level 10 and until you have 31 points in that tree, you can’t start dumping points into other trees. When you have 31 points in one tree, the others are available. Also, Mastery will not just appear on items dropped in the world, you’ll also be able to get it from a trainer when you level. Since there’ll be fewer talent points to go around, it won’t be one-per-level like it used to be; it’ll be one for just about every other level.

Make sure you check out the whole announcement to understand how it’ll change things – this is effectively Blizzard’s way to redoing the way talents are handled in the game, and to try and remove some of the monotony around picking a talent tree and going with it because there’s inevitably “only one right way to spec,” as is largely true today.

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